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In Time (Blu-ray Review)

Every second counts in this sexy, stylish action-thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Syfried. In a future where time is literally money and aging stops at 25, the only way to stay alive is to earn, borrow, steal or inherit more time. But when a poor, working-class man (Timberlake) is falsely accused of murder, he teams up with a beautiful heiress (Seyfried) and must figure out a way to bring down the corrupt system before their dwindling life clocks run out! 

 

 

Film

In the not-so-distant, but distant future, the new currency that everyone is willing to do anything for, including killing for, is TIME. Literally. Everyone walks around with a time meter bracelet attached to their wrists with an electronic time indicator counting down the seconds. Some folks have it stockpiled, usually the rich, and most are on their last days. See, in this world people have stopped aging at the age of 25, but have until age 26 to live. If you’re lucky enough to find more time then you can essentially live forever, but still look 25. ZOMG!

Will (Justin Timberlake) is one of the unlucky poor kids who live in one of the least desirable rungs of the city. The world of In Time is divided into zones, and Will is smack-dab in the middle of one of them. One night while Will is at the local bar, Henry,  a rich individual walks in and starts buying everyone drinks with his 116 years of time. This kicks up plenty of unwanted attention from the local “Minutemen” led by their cockney leader Fortis (Alex Pettyfur). Will sees what’s going down and intervenes and saves Henry from being killed. Being thankful, Henry transfers his remaining time over to him as Will he sleeps before bolting.

With everyone on Will’s tail, including Timekeeper Leon (Cillian Murphy) who is pretty much a police officer of the zone. Will’s only hope is to bail to New Greenwich, a kind of Beverly Hills zone where only rich time millionaires/billionaires congregate. Will enters a casino hoping to add some more time to his clock. There he meets Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) who is the young daughter of a filthy rich “time lord” (not really a time lord, but the guy has tons of time to spare). Gambling ensues.

Eventually, Will is tracked to down by Leon and Sylvia is taken hostage by Will. It turns into a cat and mouse game between all parties involved.

In Time had such potential, but its execution was sloppy, in my opinion. The film meanders quite a bit as people are being chased and shot at. It’s in the moments that call for exposition that seem a bit clunky. We’re given tons of philosophical ramblings about living forever and wanting to die, that we never get back story as to why the world is the way it is. The way it’s presented; it just is. What’s even more frustrating is that the Blu-ray has a special featurette which gives you the back story of the film, but too bad it’s not in the actual film itself. It’s weird to get the meat and potatoes of a plot from a special feature as opposed to getting it from the feature film itself.

Timberlake and Seyfried do what they can in their roles and they succeed for the most part. I would also say, without spoiling it, that the ending is not congruent to what just happened – which is also extremely frustrating. If you want something stimulating then watch something else, but if you want style over substance then you may enjoy In Time. I didn’t care for the film all that much, but the Blu-ray looks and sounds great and the production is pretty cool.

 

Video

In Time is presented in 1080p; 2.35:1 widescreen. Unlike the movie’s faults, this high definition transfer stays consistent throughout the entire picture. Flesh tones are natural, although one will be bale to detect subtle uses of DNR to make all the good looking people’s faces a tad smoother, but it’s expected. Colors look natural for the most part. Certain areas of the city look a bit more washed out than others which extends to the contrast levels, as well. Black levels are spot on, though. They never crush and are deep and inky. Black levels reign supreme on this Blu-ray.

 

Audio

In Time is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. The lossless surround sound track is extremely robust in that it handles everything it’s thrown at it with relative ease. Dialogue is smooth and clean and handles the quiet scenes just as effectively as the action scenes. The LFE is very aggressive when it needs to be mainly during the car chase sequences. Gunshots rip through the sound-scape you’d think that you were the one being chased and shot at. I guess it helps that it was filmed in Los Angeles. 😉 In Time gets props from me on sound quality.

Extras

I’m actually pretty disappointed in the special features for this Blu-ray. I would love to have seen a production design featurette or something similar, but we don’t get anything like that at all. There are some deleted/extended scenes and a 15 minute featurette that expands on the In Time universe. It’s a “reality” piece that traces the steps of various important figures (and some that we never see) in the movie. It was neat, but I wanted more.

  • The Minutes- Learn the origins of the film’s time-based society
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  • Deleted /Extended Scenes

     

Summary

Andrew Niccol has always been an underrated filmmaker, and I always considered him the Christopher Nolan before there was a Christopher Nolan, but In Time could have been a great film and comes up extremely short. I get the feeling that Niccol’s original version was much darker and colder than the final product. The video and audio specs are its only saving grace, because the lack of special features drive down the already low-ish score down even further. Rent it.

 

 

 

Order In Time on Blu-ray!


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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

3 Responses to “In Time (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Agreed. So much potential hampered by bad dialogue.

  2. Brian White

    I agree with you. I wanted to love this one, but it was so flawed!

  3. Gregg

    There are not words foul enough to describe how atrocious this film was. Bad script. Bad acting.